Gangs, gang members, and geography

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Gangs are geographically oriented social entities as evidenced by the display of cardinal points in their graffiti, the use of neighborhood namesakes, a focus on territoriality as their raison d'être, as well as in the way they are policed and legally cordoned. Despite gang members' real and imagined penchant for transgressive place-making and demarcation, it has been sociologists and criminologists, not geographers, who have produced the lion's share of spatially nuanced research on gangs. In this article, I provide a review of the social scientific literature on gangs, concluding with a call for how to make the discipline of geography more inclusive for gang researchers who possess real-world experience with assertive place-making practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12651
JournalGeography Compass
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • gang policing
  • gangs
  • space and place
  • street gangs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Social Sciences
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Atmospheric Science


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